IFJ Condemns Armed Robbery at Union's Office in Somalia

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the raid and robbery at the

main office of its Somalia affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists

(NUSOJ) as well as continued threats against members and the leadership of the


NUSOJ says four men

armed with AK-47 guns and two male accomplices raided the union main office at

Taleex street in Mogadishu where they told the security guard that they are

NUSOJ staff to gain entry. After opening the door, they disarmed the security

guard and ordered him to move aside. Once inside, they took documents of the

union which were on the shelves and 4 computers before escaping in a Toyota

pickup. The security guard was ordered not to talk any one about of the attack at

the risk of losing his life.  


actions are the latest in a series of persistent violations against the

journalists union, its members and leaders that have continued in the past two

months to deny journalists their right to freedom of association and

expression," said Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary.

On Monday, two gunmen

came back to the offices of the union and threatened three NUSOJ officials who had

gone to investigate the robbery. The gunmen warned that anyone who comes to the

offices of the union would be killed. "Anyone who does not like his life, let

him come here and we will step on his dead body," said one gunman.

The three union

officials were also told they risked their life if they continue to represent

the union and its leadership in Somalia.

The IFJ is concerned about consistent

politicised actions against NUSOJ members and its leadership to thwart them

from carrying out their legitimate activities which is a clear violation of their

right to freedom of association and freedom of expression.


are very concerned about the safety of NUSOJ leaders and members and we shall

do everything in our power to keep them safe and defend their legitimacy,"

added Costa.

The IFJ supported the

General Assembly of NUSOJ which took place on 14-15 March in Mogadishu and

fully recognised the outcome of this Assembly and endorsed the legitimacy of

Abdirisak Omar Ismail, Chairperson of NUSOJ supreme council, and Omar Faruk

Osman as NUSOJ Secretary General.

"The Transitional

Federal Government has the primary responsibility to guarantee the security of

journalists, including NUSOJ leaders and its members in the areas under its control.

The need to investigate the raid on the union's office and bring the robbers to

justice," declared Costa.

NUSOJ has been

working in a temporary office in south Mogadishu for the last two years due to

the lack of security at the main office which is located in a combat zone between

of Al-Shabaab and transitional government forces.

For more information,

please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents more than

600.000 journalists in 131 countries